Let’s face it, travelling with children has its unique set of challenges. Possessing unfathomable amounts of energy, children are rarely content with lying on the beach with a good book or searching for the ideal spot to watch the sunset. It’s no secret the key to the perfect family holiday is to make sure your little ones are constantly entertained. Where better to do so than the activities-wonderland of Costa Rica?
This small but exciting country is rich with adventure tours, jungle treks and adrenaline-pumping sports. It has a wealth of natural beauty, pristine beaches and spas galore. So, the activities are taken care of, but what about the evenings and the days you want to relax? Below is a selection of family friendly hotels in Costa Rica that have enough to keep your kids occupied day or night, rain or shine.
1. Tabacon Grand Spa and Thermal Resort, Arenal Volcano National Park
The real selling point of this hotel is its stunning hot springs and pool complex, complete with a waterfall, slide and surrounded by lush palm trees. The gorgeous gardens give guests a sense of privacy as well as transforming the hotel into a jungle hideaway. The wilderness setting is sure to inspire some interesting games among your children. In the surrounding national park there is plenty to keep both adults and kids occupied from rafting to zip lining. The Tabacon can even arrange a babysitter if you are keen to spend an evening without your children.
2. Monteverde Lodge & Gardens, Santa Elena
The Cloud Forest is one of Costa Rica’s most popular destinations and it’s not hard to see why. Thick mist winds its way through the tops of vivid, towering trees, giving the entire area an other-worldly feel. However, this magnificent patch of nature is more than just a pretty face. Hanging bridges, zip lines, wildlife trails slice through the wilderness, adding a touch of adventure to your exploration. The Monteverde Lodge is perfectly situated to enjoy everything the Monteverde Reserve has to offer. On top of that, it even has its own outdoor heated pool and a butterfly garden to entertain your youngsters.
3. Hotel Capitan Suizo, Tamarindo
Tamarindo is a thriving coastal town. It has long been a favourite with beach-lovers from around the world. The hotel Capitan Suizo is a stunning property, which boasts a location right in the heart of the action, yet still enjoys a high level of privacy and tranquillity. The sand and ocean of the beach is just a stone’s throw away. But if even that’s too far, you can take a dip in the hotel’s glorious outdoor pool. Kids will love splashing around while they seek out the monkeys and iguanas that live in the surrounding gardens.
4. Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge, Osa Peninsula
Conveniently situated near the Corcovado National Park, one of the gems in the crown of Costa Rica, the Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge is the perfect hideaway for the whole family. There is an outdoor pool surrounded by rainforest, where children can play, make new friends and search for exotic animals. For any much needed pampering there is a dedicated massage area in the clearing of the forest – perfect for some relaxation away from the kids. All of the hotel rooms are simply but beautifully decorated. A number of adventure tours can be arranged from the lodge, including surfing, dolphin watching, kayaking and horse riding.
5. Hotel San Bada, Manuel Antonio National Park
The beauty queen of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, the Manuel Antonio National Park is a delight for all the senses with golden beaches on one side and dazzling rainforest on the other. When it comes to getting up close and personal with the park, nowhere beats the Hotel San Bada. Parents of restless children will definitely appreciate the glorious beach being just two minutes away. Kids will love seeking out the monkeys and macaws that rustle through the trees, calling and chattering as they do. The property has a huge outdoor pool with a waterfall and sun loungers.
6. Shaka Costa Rica, Santa Teresa
If you have sporty kids who love to try their hand at new things then spending a few nights at Shaka Costa Rica is an absolute must. This laid-back beach-side hotel is a surf school as well. Youngsters and adults, whether beginners or pros, can grab a board and hit the waves under the expert guidance of one of Shaka’s resident surf instructors. Yoga is also on offer in the evenings to help soothe your aching muscles after a day in the water. When you’re not surfing, activities include relaxing at the beach, lying in a hammock and enjoying the delicious, fresh food in the restaurant.
7. Copa de Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort, Drake Bay
As if a sparkling, four-tiered swimming pool wasn’t enough to satisfy your watery cravings, the Copa de Arbol resort is just two minutes from the gorgeous beach. Children will be hard pressed to have a dull moment during your stay. However, after a day or two of swimming and splashing, your kiddies might start wanting do something else. There are plenty of activities, including whale watching tours, zip-lining, horse-riding excursions along the beach and scuba diving. There’s also a spa, where adults can go for a bit of much-deserved pampering.
8. Vista Celestial, Uvita
As we have discussed, children don’t usually get the same pleasure from good views as us adults. However, the panoramas from the pool at the Vista Celestial might be the exception to that rule. Add on the built-in underwater sun loungers and a swim up bar serving fruit smoothies and cocktails and you’ll struggle to find a reason to leave the water. Although, don’t be tempted to let your children turn into human prunes when there is even more excitement waiting just steps away. Adventure tours on offer in the surrounding area include waterfall rappelling, whale-watching, rafting and paddle boarding.
9. Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, Tortuguero
Looking for something a bit unusual during your holiday in Costa Rica? Why not head to the beach at dusk and watch thousands of green sea turtles lay their eggs in the sand? The Tortuga Lodge offers packages that will take you to the site with a guide who can inform you about what’s going on around you. During the day, kids will be kept occupied by the huge outdoor pool, hammocks and prolific wildlife that wanders freely through the hotel’s garden. In the evenings, tuck into some of the finest food in the area, expertly prepared at the onsite restaurant.
10. Hotel Santo Tomas, San Jose
Whether it’s the beginning or the end of your journey, there will come a time when you will probably need to spend the night near the airport. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun whilst doing so. The Santo Tomas is a relaxed hotel, well located in the capital city near to many of its main attractions. The rooms are modern and comfortable, ensuring you get a good night’s sleep after or before your long flight. There is also a jacuzzi, pool and water slide in the courtyard where children can wear themselves out.
Whether you’re travelling with children or choose to leave them at home, Costa Rica is guaranteed to be an exhilarating adventure – have a look at our tailor-made holiday section to create your perfect holiday.